My friends, how I have missed thee! It’s only been a couple of weeks since my last post but it feels like forever. I’ve been on a spiritual journey of sorts all month and that’s where my attentions have been focused.
You may not know this but I’ve been taking French classes since the start of April. It’s a language I’ve always wanted to speak and one of the goals I set myself this year. It’s going really well. I’m a bit of a local champion in the class and I tell you, it feels great not to be the dunce for a change. The things that happened to me as a French student in secondary school, shame will not allow me tell you people.
The tutor is a basket case. She cracks me up no end and has the wit of a razor. Thankfully she is French so I get to hear an authentic French accent which I’m doing a bad ass job of imitating. Only that American accent eludes me but one day, one day, I will conquer it. I warn you, you don’t want to be around me when I do because you might be jailed for murder.
Speaking of accents, there’s an Igbo business man in my class. Need I say more?! His Igbo accent is the real deal and hearing him speak French is the highlight of the classes. His pace of learning is considerably slower than the class average so the poor man finds himself the object of the tutor’s attentions more often than he’d like.
In the last class, we had to tell everyone what we did at the weekend. When it was Nna’s turn, it went like this.
Nna: Samedi, j’ai mangé mon déjeuner a douze heure.
Tutor: Qu’est-ce que tu as mangé?
Nna: J’ai mangé eba.
Tutor: Eba? Qu’est-ce que c’est ? What it is?
Nna: Eba now, eba.
Nna: Eba is eba. Which one is translate to English again? You don’t know eba?!
Every eyebrow in the room was furrowed as the class tried to decipher this word that Nna had thrown out there. All but mine of course, I was laughing my head off. How the heck did he expect them to know what eba is?!
Tutor: Describe to me what is it.
Nna: Me I don’t know how I can describe it. It is swallow, you know swallow abi?
They were both getting frustrated so I composed myself long enough to explain to the tutor that eba is a Nigerian dish made from ground cassava.
MEE: It looks a bit like couscous when it’s raw and turns out like mash when you cook it.
Tutor: Ah! Why you not say that?!
Nna: Is it not eba I said?! Na wetin she describe be that!
Nna accused the tutor of having a limited knowledge of world foods, the tutor defended her right not to know what eba is and I had to take deep breaths to stop myself collapsing.